It's not a secret that I hate the Michael Bay Transformers movies. I couldn't even complete my Transformers: Age of Extinction review due to the fact that remembering the experience of watching it just pisses me off and these days, blood pressure is a real issue. So let me steer clear of that issue and move on to something I am grateful for that came out of the craptastic film.
This particular Transfomer toy. It's the Age of Extinction Voyager Class Hound!
I've had this figure several weeks now, ever since I first did that toy run in Makati, but I just never had the chance to open it till this long weekend. I am so glad that I took the time to run him down!
Let me start by saying that this is a fantastic toy. Forget all the issues you hear about scale and his size; although he is pricey and he is significantly smaller than other Voyager Class toys, this is the kind of bot that gets me excited about collecting Transformers. He's poseable, he's got an insane number of accessories that all store on his body in both vehicle and robot mode, and he's got a satisfying yet intuitive design to his transformation sequence. I might not be a fan of the Bayformer aesthetic, but here it doesn't annoy me too much.
He starts in robot mode in the package (which is pretty lazy design; just white with the red "Transformers" title on the side) so lets begin there.
By himself, he's an excellent figure. He doesn't have the same silhouette that the model in the movie had, which had sort of a beer gut. I'd have to watch it again to be sure (something I'm not willing to subject myself to), but I think most of the mass he had hanging there was from grenades and ammo belts, so I'm OK with this representation. Besides, he looks far more of a bad-ass with his barrel chest and huge gorilla arms.
Those arms are the perfect place to see the details they've worked into this toy. He has got ammo belts for fore arms! That is all kinds of crazy! Of course, they're made of soft, rubbery plastic, and left unpainted, but goddamn! That's a nice touch! He's also got some big shells wrapped around his biceps, which is just icing on the cake.
He is, when you get down to it, a shellformer, so there is some kibble hanging off his arms and covering his hands, but they aren't obtrusive and kind of look like extra armor.
Like I said, he can store all his weapons on his person. He's got eight modular pieces that come with him; 2 small pistols, 2 medium pistol, 2 four-barreled shotguns, a three-barreled Gatling gun (though, technically I guess it would be 18-barreled, since it's got six barrels for each chain gun), and a knife. We're lucky if we even get a blaster these days, and Hound comes with all that?
That right there makes him worth the purchase.
One thing that's fiddly though is the way the weapons plug into him. The posts and sockets aren't standard and they aren't uniform. The nubs that secure the guns to him are short and rounded in must cases and don't hold the weapon on him tightly. He's got tiny little holes around his body and you can hang stuff from his armpits, his hips, his backpack, the small of his back, and the back of his boots. He's also got a compartment on the inside of his legs where you can store the smaller pistols, and a single hole on his chest to plug the knife into.
I'm not sure why they didn't just go with standard 3mm or 5mm posts here. It would have made it far easier and given his guns much more backwards compatibility. The handles of the guns are still 5mm, so that's good. Any older bot that has a 5mm fist hole can use these.
You can take all of these guns and fit them together using the nubs and a few rectangular pieces on the guns. Again, the rectangular pegs and sockets are fiddly and don't hold their place well. I feel it's OK, because I put his über-weapon together once and I don't really feel I want to do it ever again. Fun for kids, but I like him with all the separate little weapons better.
A few other things to note, the fit of the weapons in his hand is really loose, no matter which one he's holding. They do tend to swing around quite a bit. The fact that his fists and forearms are in an odd position also complicates posing. And speaking of posing, he's really top heavy and though it looks like he's got rocker ankles, that's just an illusion created by the front "foot" piece, which is on a pivot. You're in for a few falls from the shelf, so be sure not to put him too high up.
You might also want to note that his forearms, and face and beard are made up of rubbery plastic. It allows some extra movement you wouldn't get otherwise, but I'm not sure how it will hold up over time.
The vehicle mode for Aoe Hound is a Oshkosh Medium Defense Tactical vehicle. According to their website, it's for "general resupply, ammunition resupply, maintenance and recovery, engineer support missions, troop transport, weapon systems platforms and combat support in tactical environments". They go on to say, "Oshkosh medium tactical vehicles offer the reliability, operational readiness and performance characteristics needed to take on any challenge". Their "maximum mobility and survivability" sound a lot like something you'd say about the G1 Hound, which is pretty cool.
Since this version of Hound is supposed to be the Autobots technical specialist, I guess it makes sense for him to be an ammo truck rather than a jeep. It fits well into Bay's military fetish, too.
The truck toy itself is great, but he is pretty tiny. The robot form stands about 6" tall and is something like an inch shorter than Beast Hunters Shockwave, which is also a Voyager Class toy. His vehicle mode next to another Voyager, Generations Springer, is similarly short. It's a great looking truck, but it really feels like he deserves an upsized Leader Class version.
Can't really bring myself to hate it for that though. Especially since all the weapons plug into either his side panels, or underneath (the small pistols remain in his ankle "holsters").
So, you ask, should you spend your hard earned Php 1,599.75 on this figure?